Volume 93, Issue 19

Thursday, September 30, 1999



Mumford a prescription for fun

Chore synonymous with hard work

Battershell urges freaks

Cornell's solo album cutivates own sound

Chore synonymous with hard work

By Shawn Despres
Gazette Staff

Unlike cleaning the house, listening to Chore is a task most music lovers would probably find quite enjoyable.

Formed in Dunnville, the quartet began its descent into the Canadian indie world in 1995. Two years later Sonic Unyon released the band's remarkable, aggressive debut, Another Plebeian. Chore then spent the next year and a half honing their skills while trekking across the country twice before heading into the studio last December.

While recording, Chore was presented with many obstacles. Drummer David Dunham dropped out of college and guitarists Chris and Mike Bell were fired from their jobs. Next, the band discovered all of the bass tracks on the album needed to be re-recorded. While re-recording them, three consecutive ADAT machines broke causing even further headaches.

Luckily, their perseverance paid off and last May they released their amazing sophomore album, Take My Mask and Breathe. Like other Canadian indie bands, Chore has received lots of positive press, unfortunately they have not been able to translate this critical acclaim into commercial success.

"The reaction to the new album has been good. We haven't sold 10,000 copies or anything, but we've gotten a lot of good reviews in Canada and a couple of good reviews in the States," Dunham explains. "Anyone who had the first CD really likes it. We've gotten a really good response from fans."

Listen to Another Plebeian and it is easy to trace the band's progression. As they have matured, they have become open to new music – a fact which is evident throughout the 70 plus minutes of material on the new album. The songs are more melodic and not quite as heavy their debut. There are also some pleasant surprises, such as the electronic interlude after the song "August" and "The Homesteaders," which is a beautiful instrumental featuring an acoustic guitar and a violin.

When asked to compare the two releases, Dunham comes up with a helpful analogy. "Another Plebeian is Tiffany, where as Take My Mask and Breathe is Britney Spears. You know – bigger, better and improved," he states.

Helping Chore get bigger and better is new member Mitch Bowden. Earlier this summer, the band parted ways with bassist Brian Pettigrew and original bassist Mike Bell reclaimed his role. This opened the door for Bowden and his guitar to enter the mix.

When asked about the new lineup, Dunham excitedly discusses the improvements in sound and the effects it has had on the band's loud and energetic live show.

"We always saw Mitch in other bands and thought that he was awesome. He sings just as well as Chris [Bell] so we have live vocal harmonies now which was something we always wanted to do but couldn't because no one else could sing," he states. "Mike went back to playing bass and he is an excellent bass player. Mitch is an excellent guitar player. So this really tightens us up live and it sounds a lot better."

Chore play Call the Office tonight with Battershell.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999